Tue March 26, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Arkansas Run Rules UALR on Tuesday
By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE -- No. 1 Arkansas got back to its winning ways on Tuesday afternoon with a run-rule 11-0 win over Little Rock in front of 8,537 fans at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Arkansas (20-3, 5-1) had lost its last game out to Auburn on Saturday. But the ship got back on the right path Tuesday with shortstop Wehiwa Aloy having a great day going 3 for 3 plus a walk and hit a grand slam.

The Razorbacks got another great performance from their pitching staff sending four hurlers to the mound. Ben Bybee (1-0) got the win. He combined with Dylan Carter, Christian Foutch and Stone Hewlett to allow two hits, fan six and no walks. Dave Van Horn showed love to the pitching staff.

"Yeah, the difference in the game is basically on the mound we didn’t give them any free passes," Van Horn said. "We didn’t walk anyone. They walked, it looks like they walked eight and hit us four times. That’s 12 free passes. You mix in four home runs and that’s how you score 11 runs. I mean we didn’t get … might have had a single or two. But when we hit it we hit it hard. Did a good job at the plate making their pitchers throw a lot of pitches."

For Bybee, it was his first action this season. He worked three innings, allowed one hit and recorded five strikeouts.

"I thought Bybee was really good," Van Horn said. "Velocity was good, location for the most part was pretty good. I felt like the ball was coming out of his hand good. He threw some good changeups to a couple of their left-handers. You know, he’s got the breaking ball and when it’s on it’s good. He mixed and …. he didn’t finish a couple of hitters off. He had an opportunity to get maybe throw a breaking ball in the dirt or something and he would tell you he left a couple of pitches up that he could have finished some guys off with two strikes. But other than that I thought he threw the ball really well."

Van Horn joked about Aloy, who transferred in from Sacramento State, and known not to be fond of the cold weather such as Fayetteville experienced on Tuesday. But the weather nor Little Rock pitching couldn't do anything to slow him down.

"It’s probably because I’ve been giving him a hard time about it," Van Horn said. "No, he wanted to prove me wrong. He had a great day. I think he had three hits. Drove in four or five runs. Yeah, it was really good to see him feeling it a little bit at the plate laying off some borderline pitches early in the count. You can see him slowly getting there where he’s not chasing hits any more. He’s not pressing now. He’s like hey, I’ll take what they give me. Just like the ball he hit out of the park. He took a pitch before that, and then he got another one that wasn’t quite as good. Hung it just a little bit, and he hammered it. Good for him."

The Hogs added two runs in the bottom of the first and then another in the second. Peyton Stovall put the Hogs up 4-0 with a two-run shot over the fence in left field in the second.

It was the bottom of the sixth when the Hogs plated seven runs. In addition to Aloy's grand slam, Jack Wagner hit a solo shot and Will Edmunson blasted a two-run home run.

Little Rock's Austin Stubber (4-1) took the loss. He didn't make it out of the first inning. He allowed one hit, two runs, walked a pair and threw 41 pitches before being removed.

Arkansas will be at home to host No. 8 LSU (19-6, 2-4) with the first game on Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Friday's game at 7 p.m. will be on the SEC Network. The series finale is Saturday at 2 p.m. and can be streamed on the SEC Network+.